Press/Journalists

Press Release
February 27, 2012

National Archives Celebrates "Sunshine Week" with FOIA Featured Document Display

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Washington, DC…In celebration of Sunshine Week, the National Archives will showcase the original Freedom of Information Act, Public Law 89-487, in a document display that runs from Friday, March 9, to Sunday, March 18. The display will be in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building which is located on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW, and is open from 10 AM to 5:30 PM daily through March 14, and 10 AM to 7 PM daily March 15 through Labor Day. Admission is free.

One of the first countries to open access to government records, the United States passed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on July 4, 1966. This law began a process to make government increasingly transparent. Today the public’s “right to know” is considered one of the fundamental rights of a democratic government.

“We are pleased to share this original historic document during Sunshine Week. Our goal at OGIS is to promote a collaborative, accessible, fair process for everyone in the FOIA community,” said Miriam Nisbet, Director of the National Archives Office of Government Information Services (OGIS).

This groundbreaking law recognized the essential principle that the records of a democratic government belong to the people. Over the next 30 years, amendments to the original law increased access to both paper and electronic documents that illustrate the workings of the government. In the past year, over 300,000 Americans requested and received records from federal agencies thanks to the Freedom of Information Act.

OGIS, referred to as the FOIA ombudsman, was created within the National Archives when the OPEN Government Act of 2007 amended the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552) (FOIA). OGIS began operations in September, 2009, and is charged with providing services to mediate disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies; reviewing policies and procedures of administrative agencies under FOIA; reviewing agency compliance with FOIA; and recommending policy changes to the Congress and President to improve the administration of FOIA.

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For more information on OGIS, see http://ogis.archives.gov.

Follow the OGIS blog at http://blogs.archives.gov/foiablog.

For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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